Rules for the 2023 Major League Show Jumping Series
The Major League Show Jumping, “The League”, is organized to promote a 5* Jumping league in North America with some of the strongest organizers and venues. The vision behind the League is to elevate the level of show jumping in North America by adding CSI5* events. The League will join pre-existing FEI events in Canada, Mexico, and United States with a team competition offered at each event. Events organized include but not limited to;
*Schedule dates and locations may adjust/change once USEF/EC/FEM/FEI approvals are in place*
- Vancouver – Langley, BC, CA – May 25-28, 2023
- Williamsburg, MI (Traverse City), USA – August 2-6, 2023
- Rockwood, ON, CA – August 16-20, 2023
- Ottawa, ON, CA – August 23-27, 2023
- Williamsburg, MI (Traverse City), USA – September 13-17, 2023
- Greenwich, CT, USA – October 4-8, 2023
- Monterrey, La Silla, MX – November 8-12, 2023
- Thermal, CA, USA – November 29 – December 3, 2023
- Thermal, CA, USA – December 6-10, 2023
- Caledon Equestrian Park – Toronto, ON, Canada
- Otomi Club Hipico – San Miguel de Allende, MEX
- WEC- Ocala, FL, USA
The League reserves the right to add additional venues as backups, subject to FEI approval. Final schedule to be submitted by December 15th of the previous year.
All events included in the League must have the status of a CSI5*. Both indoor and outdoor events are eligible to be League events.
In 2023 the League will again be offered at these pre-existing events with a finale event that offers both team and individual Grand Prix season bonuses based on season standings from the pre-existing events and the finale. In 2023 the finale will run with the same format and prize money as the other events and team/individual bonuses will be paid out at the final event. Teams and individuals must compete to receive bonus money earned. League reserves the right to change events on a year to year basis pending FEI approval and providing they are included in the rules before they are published for the following year.
- Number of teams: There will be a maximum of eight (8) registered teams. The league can run with a minimum of five (5) registered teams. The number and names of registered teams will be communicated to the FEI by March 15th of each season, and in any case ten (10) weeks prior to the first event of the League.
- Team agreement: Teams will be required to have a signed agreement with the League by March 1st of each season. The team must enter a legally binding document with MLSJ and name their riders and team manager for the season, prior to the March 1st deadline to be a registered team. Teams not registered by March 1st of each season will not be allowed to participate. MLSJ will provide the FEI with names of team members on a registered team within two (2) weeks of the team completing its registration. MLSJ will be responsible for paying the team registration fee to the FEI. There will be a team licensing fee which will be determined by MLSJ. Riders cannot be required to pay more than the applicable entry fee as listed in the schedule as per FEI rules to participate in MLSJ events, nor can they be required to pay to be a member of a MLSJ team. Athletes invited under Group 5 who are not eligible to take part in the Grand Prix, will be reimbursed 1% of the prize money offered for the Grand Prix.
- Composition: Teams can roster a minimum of four (4) athletes and a maximum of six (6) athletes. An athlete can compete on one team only. At least two riders per team must be ranked within the top 250, based on the Longines Rankings list dated December 1st of the previous year. At each event three athletes are required to compete in team competition.
- Designated Team Representative / Team Manager – Every team must name a team manager. The team manager will be the contact person for each team with the MLSJ Office and each hosting event. The team manager is responsible for team declarations for each event. The team manager will communicate on behalf of their team all matters with the league and will have the sole authority to make decisions on behalf of their team with the MLSJ office.
- Substitution: If one of the teams cannot fill three rider positions at any given event for veterinary or medical reasons or because the athlete in question is required to act as a last minute replacement in his National Federation’s Nations Cup Team at a CSIO, the League team concerned will still be able to compete and the League will find a temporary replacement(s). A replacement due to medical / veterinary reasons will require a written declaration from a veterinarian or medical doctor. In this case, a replacement rider can be named 1 hour prior to the team competition. The replacement rider can be any rider who is competing at said event, but not registered to one of the other teams. A maximum of two replacement riders may be used at any event. If the team is unable to field a team because there are no replacement riders available, the team will not compete in the team competition, and will receive zero points at the event. In the event a replacement rider must be named due to the requirement for an athlete to participate in a Nations cup CSIO, the replacement rider must be named prior to the Horse Inspection of the event. Under this circumstance, a maximum of two replacement riders may be used at an event. In the event the team is unable to field replacement riders, the team will not compete in the team event, and will receive zero points for this event. Any replacement rider under this circumstance must be ranked in the top 250 for 2022 and beyond as of December 1st of the previous year. Any rider who competes on a team as a substitute will not be eligible for year-end bonuses.
- Athlete Trades/Transfers: Teams can trade athletes or athletes transfer teams during the offseason (Until May 15). Trades or transfers during the league year must be done during the transfer window and are subject to league office approval. The transfer window will be open for 14 days following 50% of League events in any given season. The exact dates will be released by March 30th of each season. In the event the season has an odd number of events, transfer window will happen after more than 50% of the events take place. Transfers between teams is allowed as long as the teams involved in the transfer both meet the requirement of at least 2 riders in the top 250 as of December 1st of the previous year. Substitutions are also allowed in this window, as long as said team still meets the requirement of at least 2 riders in the top 250 as of December 1st of the previous year. There is no limit on the number of trades or transfers within this window.
- Mandatory Participation and Entries: Each team will be required to participate at every event including the finals. There will be a penalty for a team that does not send three athletes to an event which will be covered in detail and standard in all team contracts.
- Season: The 2023 season will begin 7 days before the first event and end December 15. Events will be announced upon approval and in compliance with the FEI Jumping Rules Art. 200.8 which state that CSI5* Events shall be approved by the FEI Secretary General two years prior to the year in which the Event is to take place.
- Number of Events: The league will consist of at least 7 events in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The maximum number of events is 15. The Events are to be included in the FEI Calendar in accordance with the FEI Jumping Rules. In the event the league will not run, the FEI and MLSJ stakeholders will be informed by December 31 of the prior year.
- Events: The events hosting the League will have signed hosting agreements. The League team competition will be a feature competition. Events will be required to run at the FEI 5* level and run in accordance of FEI 5* rules.
- Mandatory Attendance: Teams will be required to compete at each of the events scheduled. National federations to submit entries of athletes and horses. There will be a penalty to a team who does not send three athletes to an event which will be covered in detail in the team contracts.
3. Participation in A MLSJ League Event
- There will be a maximum of 8 registered teams participating in the MLSJ Season. All of the registered teams must be invited to all MLSJ events. The League can run with a minimum of 5 registered teams and a minimum of 7 events if necessary.
- The total number of team athletes participating at each MLSJ event is maximum thirty two (32). Each rider is permitted to ride 3 horses. Therefore the maximum number of team horses is ninety six (96).
- The maximum number of athletes (individuals and teams) permitted to ride at each event is 50. The only exception to this rule is if extra Group 5 riders are required to fill the team quotas at any event. In this case, Group 5 riders will not be eligible to compete in the Grand Prix.
- The event organizer for each MLSJ event will invite athletes through their National Federation. The list of athletes for each event will be provided to the Organizer and the FEI by MLSJ. See Article 8.
MLSJ Team Competition
- Format (Run at each event) one round and two jump-offs over a shortened course. The first jump-off will include the top four placed teams in round 1, and will determine qualifying for the second jump-off. The second jump-off will determine podium placings; no rider will jump-off twice. Initial round and subsequent jump-offs to take place in one day, with no horse or rider jumping more than one round and one jump-off. The team competition will not count towards the Longines Rankings, however a points group C table A competition will run concurrently which will count for the Longines Rankings.
Individual athletes (participating in the CSI5*) in addition to team athletes, will be allowed to compete in the MLSJ team competition. The prize money for the individual competition will be distributed amongst team and individual athletes, based upon their individual classification of the first round of the team competition. This individual competition will be a Longines Rankings competition counting for points group C. Individual athletes will compete first, followed by athletes competing on a team.
Individual Placings – According to total penalties (ie penalties for faults at obstacles and/or penalties for exceeding the time allowed) and – in case of equality in penalties – according to the time incurred during the round. In case of equality of faults and time, there will be no jump-off; the athletes concerned will be placed equal first.
- Round 1 – All teams compete in a team style format, with three riders per team, all three scores to count. Will be judged under table A against the clock FEI Art 238.2.1. The top four teams qualify for the FIRST JUMP-OFF by staying above the cut-off line in round 1. The combined penalties and time of all three athletes will determine placings. A team that only has two riders complete the round will place below those with three completing the round. A team that only has one rider complete the round will place below those teams who have two complete the round. Teams with only two or only one rider completing the course will be separated by the combined penalties and time of the riders who completed the course. Team Order of go will be determined by draw at the draw party the evening before the MLSJ team competition. Teams and their managers will have the ability to create the start order of riders within each team. Team Managers must submit the order of go for their individual teams by noon the day before the team competition. The teams who do not stay above the cut-off line (5th and lower) will be placed according to combined penalties and time. In the event that any teams are tied in round 1, the tiebreaker will be determined by each team’s top individual performance. In the event a tie still remains, the tiebreaker will be determined by each team’s second best individual performance. In the event a tie still exists, all teams tied will advance if they are tied for a position that advances to the first jump-off. In case of teams tied advancing to the first jump-off, their starting position in the First Jump-Off will be the same as it was in Round 1.
- First Jump-Off (Shortened course) – In this round teams will choose two of the three riders to ride over a jump-off course. In the event only one horse on a given team is fit to compete in the First Jump-off, said team will forfeit the jump off and will be replaced in the jump-off by the next best placed team in round 1. The team having forfeited the jump-off will be placed highest among the teams not taking part in the jump-off. In the event this happens to more than one team at one event, the teams having to forfeit the jump-off will be tied for the highest placing among the teams not taking part in the jump-off and will be replaced in the jump-off by the next best placed teams in round 1. In the event only two horses are fit to compete, both riders will participate in this round, and they will forfeit their match in the Podium Jump-Off. In the event this happens to multiple teams at one event, those teams will remain tied for the highest placing of those teams not competing. Order of go will be based on qualification from round 1, with the best team going last. Team managers will have the decision making ability to create the start order of riders within each team after the completion of the initial round. This must be done within 5 minutes of the completion of Round 1. Teams will again battle to stay above the cut-off line, with the top two teams based on combined time of their two riders, advancing to the PODIUM JUMP OFF 1st Place showdown, and the bottom two (or 3rd and 4th if more than four teams advance due to a round 1 tie) battle it out for PODIUM JUMP OFF 3rd Place showdown. Will be judged under Table C FEI Art 239 with three seconds added for a knockdown. In the event of a tie in the first jump-off, the team with the fastest individual performance will advance. In the event a tie still exists after the first tiebreaker, the team placings in round one will determine the results. In the unlikely event more than one team is eliminated from this round, the teams will advance to the PODIUM JUMP OFF round based on their placings in round 1.
- Podium Jump-Off (Same shortened course as First Jump-Off)— The rider for each team that did not compete in the First Jump-Off , will compete in the Podium jump off 1st and 3rd place Showdown, competing in a heads up format over the same jump-off course. This round will be judged under Table C FEI Art 239 with three seconds added for a knockdown. The team with the fastest time in the Podium Jump-Off first place showdown will win the competition and the team with the fastest time in the Podium Jump Off third place showdown will be placed third. Order of go for the Podium Jump Off will be based on positions after the first jump off, with the best team going last. In the event of a tie, teams will remain tied, share the prize money and the points for the team standings. In the event the third rider is unable to compete in this round, their team will finish either second or fourth, depending which match they have qualified for.
- Height – Each team competition will be held with obstacles of 1.50m in height.
- Prize Money – Each event will hold a designated team competition with at least $ 255,000 CAD in prize money. Prize money paid to 5th place ($115,000 / $65,000 / $44,000 / $30,000 / $1,000).
- Competition Eligibility –The Team Competition is exclusive to registered team members only. Each athlete shall ride one horse during the MLSJ Team competition.
- Starting Order – Random draw will be conducted during a draw party at each event to determine order of go for the teams. Once the order is set, all three athletes will ride consecutively to create a team total score before the next athlete competes. Team managers must submit the order of go for their individual team to the office by noon the day before the team competition. Teams will have their riders ride consecutively in all rounds.
- Athlete Declarations – The team manager will be required to declare his or her four (4) riders and horses in writing to the MLSJ office and the FEI 10 days prior to each event. Following the official declaration, no further changes can be made unless approved by MLSJ, FEI and OC of event in question.
- Team Final Declarations – The team manager will declare which three athletes and horses will take part in the team competition no later than 24 hours prior to the team competition. This declaration must also be done in writing and submitted to the MLSJ office. Substitutions after the declaration can be done by following the substitution policy in section 1. If a substitution cannot be made, the team will not compete and will earn no points.
- Athlete order of go – This will be decided by the Team Manager, and submitted to the League office by noon the day prior to the team event.
- Withdrawals – If one team cannot participate in round 1, the round will be run with the remaining teams, with four still advancing to the First Jump-Off. A team withdrawing from round 1 will receive no prize money and no points. If one or more of the four qualifying teams must withdraw from competition following round one, they will be placed 4th, or tied for the lowest placing available. A withdrawal following round one, must be approved by the ground jury, otherwise this team will be placed 5th, and the team finishing 5th in round one, will be brought forward for the first jump-off. Similarly, if one of the qualified teams for the podium Jump-Off must withdraw, they will forfeit the final, and place second or fourth respectively.
- Disqualification – If a rider is disqualified / eliminated / retires that team will finish behind teams in which all three riders completed their round. If two riders on a team do not complete their round, their team will finish below teams who had only one rider not complete. In the event all riders are disqualified the whole team will be disqualified, and will receive no points. In the event a team rider is disqualified from the entire event prior to the start of the Team Competition, the team manager will be permitted to make a substitution. If said team does not have a fourth rider at the event, the team manager may select a rider competing in the MLSJ event that is not on a MLSJ team. If a substitution cannot be found, the team will be disqualified and will receive no points.
- Points and Standings – Teams will earn points at each leg of the tour based on finish in Team Event. Points will be allocated as follows; for the Team Event; 1st – 20, 2nd – 15, 3rd – 12, 4th – 10, 5th – 8, 6th – 6, 7th – 4, 8th – 2. Points at the FINAL will be doubled. The team with the most points following the final will be the winners of the season. In the event of a tie, the team with the most wins in the team competition will be the champion. In the event of a tie between teams, the values of the teams’ positions are added and divided evenly by how many teams tied. For example if three team tied for second place, the values for second, third and fourth will be added up and then divided by 3 so that the three teams receive equal shares.
GRAND PRIX PARTICIPATION
- All 50 athletes will be allowed to participate in the Grand Prix at every event as long as they have completed with their Grand Prix horse the initial round of at least one FEI competition among those listed in Art. 261.4.4 prior to the Grand Prix. JRs Art. 261.4.4 applies.
- Athletes invited under invitation Group 5 (refer to Art. 8 Event Invitations) are not eligible to participate in the Grand Prix, even in the event that the quota of 50 athletes has not been reached, and will be reimbursed 1% of the prize money offered for the Grand Prix by the OC.
Points will be awarded for each Grand Prix during the season (to team riders only) as follows:
1st – 12, 2nd – 9, 3rd – 7, 4th – 5, 5th – 4, 6th – 3, 7th – 2, 8th – 1
Points at the FINAL will count for double.
2023 Season Bonuses
- TEAM BONUS
- i. MLSJ will offer a bonus to teams based on season standings. Bonus at least $500,000 CAD.
- Bonus prize money will be awarded based on total points earned over the series. In the event of a tie between teams, the prize money for the teams in question are added together and divided by the number of teams tied. For example if three team tied for second place, the money for second, third and fourth will be added up and then divided by 3 so that the three teams receive equal shares. Breakdown as follows:
First Place – 50% Second Place – 30% Third Place – 20%
- Individual Grand Prix Bonus
- A bonus cash prize of at least $100.000 CAD will be paid to the top 3 riders in the series, based on points won, split 50%/30%/20%.
- 7. Event Hosting Requirements
- Offer the following competitions as a minimum:
- i. Team Event with minimum of $255,000 CAD
- ii. Two – Category C classes
- iii. One – Category D class
- iv. One – minimum Category A Grand Prix
8. Event Invitations for Events Hosting MLSJ Groups
- Groups must be declared to the FEI at the latest at the date for definite entries of each event.
- Groups 1 and 2 consist of 60% off the number of athletes participating.
- Group 1 consists of 30% of the number of athletes participating and will be athletes taken in descending order from the Longines Rankings applicable for that specific Event hosting MLSJ.
- Group 2 consists of 30% of the number of athletes participating and will be team athletes taken from the Longines Rankings top 250 as of December 1st of the previous year (maximum 2 per team). Team athletes are athletes participating in the MLSJ team competition taking place during the Event hosting MLSJ. The unused Group 2 invitation(s) are reallocated to Group 1 and will only revert to Group 3, respectively to Group 4, after the substitution deadline (refer to the last bullet point of this section for details on reallocation of unused places after the substitution deadlines).
· At least one athlete per MLSJ team must come from Group 1 or 2. If already three (3) athletes of the same MLSJ team are entered under Group 1, the same team cannot enter a fourth athlete under Group 2.
· Substitutions are taken in descending order until 15 days prior to the start of the Event (this applies also to the FEI wild card); for Events where air transportation is required for horses, due to the requirements for horse flights and health documents, the deadline is 45 days before the Event. After the 15 day deadline for Events where air transportation is not required for horses, any unused places will be allocated by the OC (Group 4). After the 45-day day deadline for Events where air transportation is required for horses any unused place(s) will be allocated by the home NF (Group 3).
- Group 3 consists of 10% of the number of athletes participating. Group 3 consists of 1 FEI wild card and home athletes selected by the home National Federation (NF).
- The home athletes are selected by the home NF and the FEI wild card by the FEI. Should the NF and/or FEI not be able to meet its quota of athletes in this group, the quota will be filled by inviting additional athletes by OC (Group 4).
- If any event has not filled its quota of 50 athletes after all re-allocations have been made under Groups 1, 2 and 4, any remaining invitations will go to the home NF.
- Group 4 consists of 30% of the number of athletes participating selected by the OC. The invitations in Group 4 can only be used to invite MLSJ team athletes (so that each team participating in the MLSJ Event has 4 team athletes). It is not obligatory that the athletes be chosen from the Longines Rankings. If less than 20% of the athletes have to come from Group 4 in order to accommodate MLSJ teams, the OC can invite individual riders up to 20%. The unused Group 4 invitation(s) are reallocated to Group 1.
- The total number of athletes participating in Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall be according to the approved FEI schedule; provided, however, that the percentages of athletes in Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall be 60% for Groups 1 and 2 (30% for each); 10% for Group 3; and 30% for Group 4.
- Group 5 consists of additional team athletes.
- Group 5 does not count for the percentages of the invitation system. Athletes in Group 5 are invited only if and to the extent to complete the maximum of 4 athletes per team for the MLSJ Event. So if a MLSJ team has 4 team athletes pursuant to Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4, no athlete will be invited in Group 5.
- Group 5 athletes are not eligible to participate in the Grand Prix.
Groups 2, 4 and 5 can only be used to complete the team maximum of four (4) riders.